Milestone-Proposal:Development of Optical Image Stabilizer, 1981-1988

From IEEE Milestones Wiki


To see comments, or add a comment to this discussion, click here.

Docket #:2022-21

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on the edit button in toolbar above, indicated by an icon displaying a pencil on paper. At the bottom of the form, check the box that says "Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished" and save the page.


To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1981-1988

Title of the proposed milestone:

Development of Optical Image Stabilizer, 1981-1988

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Panasonic Corporation started the development of an optical image stabilizing system in 1981 and succeeded in composing world’s first Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) to compensate for video camera blur in 1988. This OIS consists of [Part 1] which detects the camera movement including blur, [Part 2] which calculates the quantity of correction from the detected blur, and [Part 3] for performing operation to cancel blur.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.


IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.


In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Kansai Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Kansai Section
Senior Officer Name: Yutaka Hata

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Kansai Section
Senior Officer Name: Yutaka Hata

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Kansai Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Yutaka Hata

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Isao Shirakawa
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Osaka Head Office and Panasonic Museum [1] of Panasonic Corporation: 1006 Oaza-Kadoma, Kadoma, Osaka, 571-8501 Japan (GPS coordinates:

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Osaka Head Office and Panasonic Museum [1] of Panasonic Corporation

Are the original buildings extant?

These buildings are both extant.

Details of the plaque mounting:

The plaques will be displayed within the cabinets placed in Osaka Head Office as well as in Panasonic Museum of Panasonic Corporation.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The plaques displayed in Osaka Head Office as well as in Panasonic Museum will be protected by Panasonic Corporation and also made accessible to the public with permission of Panasonic.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Mr. Masahiro Shinada, CEO of Panasonic Corporation.

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

The historical significance of the development of optical image stabilizers by Panasonic Corporation is briefed in what follows.

1. Historical Background of Developing the Optical Image Stabilizer.

For more than a decade, Image Stabilization (IS) technology has been considered essential to delivering improved image-quality in professional cameras. More recently, as a result of advancing technology, IS has become increasingly popular to handheld device makers who want to propose high-end features for their products. Hence, manufacturers like Panasonic have worked hard on its technologies and methods for image stabilization to significantly improve camera shutter speed and to offer precise suppression of camera vibration [2].

Today, from the technological point of view, Digital Image Stabilization (DIS), Electronics Image Stabilization (EIS), and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) are the best understood and the easiest to integrate in digital still cameras and smartphones, although they can produce different image quality results: In fact, DIS and EIS require large memory and computational resources on the hosting devices, while OIS acts directly on the lens position itself and minimizes memory and computation demands on from the host. As an electro-mechanical method, lens stabilization (optical unit) is the most effective method for removing blurring effects from involuntary hand motion or shaking of the camera [2].

Thus, at the time when there occurred the strong demand for OIS to avoid camera blur, Panasonic soon made desperate efforts to develop OIS technology.

2. Panasonic’s Development of OIS

Every Panasonic camera has an OIS. This OIS compensates for hand shake and camera movement in all four directions, up, down, left, and right. A gyro-sensor detects tiny movements of the camera and moves the OIS lens in the opposite direction to steer the image onto the image sensor. This reduces blurred images that normally occur as a result of camera movement. In addition, the OIS is particularly effective when taking pictures where you are zoomed in, at a distance from the subject. Using a high magnification (zoom) exaggerates the effect of camera movement, causing increased image blurring. OIS compensates for this movement, producing a clear picture [3]. 

Panasonic was the first to introduce two OIS modes into digital cameras. Mode 1 continually tracks the camera movement, even when framing up the shot (before taking the picture), while Mode 2 only compensates for camera movement when the shutter button is pressed (as the image is captured):

In more detail, Mode 1 continually compensates for camera movement, even when framing up the subject. This is useful if you have shaky hands and when using high zoom levels. It is easier to see the subject in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. Model 1 has the disadvantage that the OIS lens may not be able to move from one extreme direction to the other in time to compensate as the photograph is taken. In this respect it can be less effective than Mode 2. On the other hand, Mode 2 keeps the OIS lens in the center when framing up the subject. When the shutter button is pressed, the OIS calculates the movement and compensates. Because the OIS lens is in the central position, it has less distance to move to any of the extremes of the picture and will be better able to compensate for any camera movement. This is the most effective mode for image stabilization, but the OIS is not available to assist with framing up the subject [3].

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The Digital Still Camera (DSC) market has moved towards smaller sizes, lower weight, and higher resolutions, much as mobile camera modules have followed the same trend after their introduction in smartphones and handsets. A big drawback to this development has been the impact of blurring, caused by involuntary motions, on image quality. In fact, lighter cameras produce greater blurring. In addition, the introduction of larger LCD displays has encouraged users to take pictures with outstretched arms, further increasing blurring [2].

The introduction of Image Stabilization (IS) in several mobile platforms has been a significant added value for photography lovers, especially for younger users, who replaced their traditional and bulky cameras with brand-new smartphones, or had cameras available to record memories, simply because those cameras were embedded in the mobile platform they were already carrying. IS in smartphones enables pictures and video with quality comparable to DSCs in so many operating conditions. As a consequence, the request for IS is increasing both in compact DSCs and smartphones [2].

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

A number of distinctive features associated with OIS are outlined briefly in what follows [2]:

1. Picture blurring caused by hand jitter, a biological phenomenon occurring at a frequency below 20Hz, is even more evident in higher resolution cameras. In fact, in smaller resolution cameras the blurring may not exceed one pixel, which is negligible; but in higher resolution ones it may impact many pixels, thus degrading image quality significantly.

2. OIS technology is an effective solution for minimizing the effects of involuntary camera shake or vibration. It senses the vibration on the hosting system and compensates for these camera movements to reduce hand-jitter effects. Thus, OIS captures sharp pictures at shutter speed several times slower than otherwise possible.

3. The increase of the shutter opening time permits more brilliant and clear pictures in indoor or low-light conditions. The time during which the shutter remains open, regulates the amount of light captured by the image sensor. The longer the exposure time, the greater the potential for hand shaking to cause blurring.

4. In the case of smartphones cameras, because of their small lens apertures and the material used to make unbreakable lenses, the amount of light that can enter and strike the image sensor is significantly less than that of a DSC. This requires a higher exposure time, with the obvious drawback of increasing the effect due to shaking hands.

5. Besides the optical requirements, two main challenges in the development of OIS in smartphones are size and cost. The additional hardware required to implement OIS increases the total cost of camera as well as camera’s size. This runs counter to the constant market demand for smaller and thinner devices.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

[1] ‘Panasonic Museum’; https://holdings.panasonic/jp/corporate/about/history/pana-sonic-museum.html (in Japanese).

[2] ‘Optical image stabilization’, https://www.st.com/content/ccc/resource/technical/document/white_paper/c9/a6/ fd/e4/e6/4e/ 48/60/ois_white_paper.pdf/files/ois_white_paper.pdf/jcr:content/translations/en.ois_white_paper.pdf

[3] ‘What is an optimal image stabilizer ?’, https://support-uk.panasonic.eu/app/answers/detail/a_id/3730/~/what-is-an-optimal-image-stabilizer-%28ois%29%3F

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.


Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to ieee-history@ieee.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.